Witches Brew Tours guide groups and walking tours through all angles of the haunts and mysteries of the French Quarter, where spirits, witches, voodoo, and vampires dwell. Fully licensed guides tell tales of vengeful ghosts and the history of Marie Laveau, the Queen of Voodoo. Guests can participate in walking, trolley, or mule-drawn-carriage tours through the city’s winding streets or the maze of mausoleums at St. Louis Cemetery No. 1.
Since 1984, Shreveport has paid tribute to a cherished Louisiana tradition—the crawfish boil—with its annual Mudbug Madness Festival. As many as 56,000 people flock each day to what has blossomed into one of the state’s most popular Cajun festivals, where they nosh on succulent seafood and compete in crawfish-eating contests that encourage participants to test their stomach size and sabotage their opponents by sneaking lobsters into their bowls. “One year, we had a man eat 42 pounds of crawfish in 30 minutes,” marvels festival coordinator Melanie. “We’ve cut it down to 15 minutes since then.” In addition to eating crustaceans, attendees can also lure them across the stage during crawdad-calling contests. “It gets really lively,” Melanie says, describing how the sirens-in-training are allowed to do nearly anything they can think of to entice the crawfish into their reach.
Cajun, zydeco, and jazz tunes waft through the air during the festivities, emanating from three stages helmed by headliners such as Wayne Toups, Rockin’ Dopsie, Jr., Super Water Sympathy, and Windstorm. The rhythms reach the ears of shoppers browsing original artwork and handmade jewelry in the arts area, expanded after previous years' success. On Thursday, local athletes can work up an appetite in the 5K race. Children of all ages burn off energy in the kids' area, where they can somersault in the bounce house, tackle art projects, or plop down in front of a stage where magicians and storytellers keep their young minds off the uncertain fate of lollipop futures.
Tiki Tubing liberates landlubbers from their stomping grounds for a lazy day of floating on the Amite River. After a six-minute jaunt in the Tiki shuttle, freshly minted mariners launch their inflatables for a four-hour drift past scenic vistas as they Huck Finn their way downstream toward their parked cars. The Amite River’s three-foot depth and slow current is safe for the entire family, and its abundant sandbars and riverbank beaches inspire ample opportunities for picnic stops, play time, and challenging boring siblings to sand-angel contests. Trips are designed with diverse standards of comfort in mind, and Tiki’s array of tubes for rent run the gamut from simple rings ($19) to the Cadillac-esque two-seater Tiki Tiger ($39) with padded backrests and business-class leg room.
Adventure Quest Laser Tag feeds fun glands in a futuristic facility that houses a 6,000-square-foot, multi-level Mayan-ruin laser-tag arena that provides ample obstacles to duck and dive behind while avoiding the crosshairs of fellow competitors' phasers. You can also choose a session of bumper cars, in which children learn the tenets of seatbelt safety and the lifelong importance of owning a superabundant bumper, or cosmic golf, with nine holes of ancient obstacles illuminated by black light. Adventure Quest Laser Tag provides a customizable day of family fun, supplanting wrestling sessions for the remote control, greased-up chicken-chasing races, and greased-up wrestling sessions against remote-hoarding chickens.
Open 364 days a year, Kart Ranch entertains Baton Rouge– and New Orleans–area families with a variety of outdoor games and activities. Engage in family-friendly adrenaline pumping by zipping around the tire-laden go-kart track, or test the buoyancy of your brood by squirting each other to splashy submission on the outdoor bumper boats. Batting cages are smartly covered to allow players to practice pitches through rain, shine, and plagues of squirrels, while the adventure golf course sports soothing waterfalls and fountains as players go head-to-head for par-gaining rights. Activity tickets can also be used toward kiddie karts, water wars, and playground admission, while game tokens can be used toward arcade and skill games, which in turn reward tickets that can be exchanged for prizes such as toys, candy, or self-propelled laser doomsday howitzers.
Rök Haus poses challenges for all levels of climber via wall surfaces that span from introductory routes to treacherous inversions, which summon strength and smarts from even the most accomplished scrambler. The friendly staff keeps a lookout for safety while competitive climbers try to navigate the central climbing boulder’s circuitous network of pathways, ensuring that the climbers do not seek guidance by bribing a local troll with Tootsie Rolls. Between ascents, climbers can take a break from the rigorous physical and mental exertion on one of the couches in the relaxation area adjacent to the climbing walls.
At Metro Bowl, 40 slick lanes, state-of-the-art equipment, and flavorful concessions sate pin-busting cravings within a newly renovated interior. Monitors track and display scores as bowlers compete against friends, family, or time-displaced future selves. Large pizzas from the concession stand fill the air with tantilizing scents, and arcade games entertain players in between sets. Given the alley’s high volume of food, fun, and heavy objects, it’s no wonder that the space often attracts big name athletes, including former LSU football player and Indianapolis Colt Joseph Addai.